It’s four days into what we as a western society decided to call the new year. To me personally, it doesn’t make much sense; the end of a year is more or less an arbitrary number it seems. It would, for example, make sense to celebrate a new year on the winter solstice, when the night is the longest and the world starts anew, returning to light. It’s an actual physical occurrence that marks something more or less tangible, something measurable—like the amount of time when it’s light during the day. It’s the summer solstice for the other half of our planet, and it seems that it could work out pretty well.
Speaking of working out, let’s get into the whole new year resolutions thing. When I was in Philadelphia to celebrate the coming of 2017, on January 1, there were people running on every corner. Sure, there were also drunk people, staggering back home as the sun rose, singing in the streets with their friends.
Many people made resolutions for this upcoming year, and many also already failed. The problem with resolutions is that people tend to “go big or go home,” and then end up “going home” because they bit off a bit too much.
What did I do for the new year? Well, on December 31, I went for a short run, followed by a bit of fun with my poi. I haven’t played with them nearly as much as I wanted to in 2021, so there I was, doing something I wanted to do, without waiting for a number on my calendar to tell me it was time to set goals and go all out.
On January 1, I was supposed to go for a sunrise run with a friend but, unfortunately, they had to cancel. So I slept in a bit, got up with the sun, and went for a run to a much less scenic location. It was a trail where I absolutely ate it a few months prior, scraping off so much skin and everything else that I had to get a tetanus vaccine. I didn’t really want to come back to this trail for a run after that.
And today, as I’m writing this, I paused my work in favour of observing a bluejay hopping outside, eating worms.
I didn’t set any new year resolutions, at least not deliberately. My only semi-deliberate resolution was originally to just survive the year, as some not-so-good things are headed my way. But looking back at the past few days, maybe I do have a few unconscious resolutions that I put into practice already:
- Play more.
- Try again in places where I fell/failed.
- Slow down.
Playing more, or, perhaps, just doing things that don’t have any “real advantage” sounds like a good idea after five years of chasing after things that can “actually do something” for me. I haven’t allowed myself to play, haven’t allowed myself to do anything else than what could potentially “bring something to the table.” Maybe, to survive this upcoming year, I should focus less on the practicality of things and more on how they make me feel and if they bring joy to my life.
Trying again was a big part of this past year. I spent it trying to figure out how to stay in the States, how to be able to stay with the people that have become my home. I haven’t succeeded and, as a consequence, have to leave the place I love the most in four months. It’s devastating. But even if I’m no longer physically here, I can still continue to do my darndest to be able to come back. And I will.
I haven’t given much time to watching the bluejays that frequent our backyard, the deer that walk and rest in the field right next to it, and the coyotes that stop by every morning on their way to wherever they go. I always had “more important” things to do, like writing a blog post to satisfy the algorithm or looking for another possible job that could grant me a visa. I failed at that, and now, having only a limited time left to enjoy the smell of the redwoods after rain, I’m starting to realize how much more time I should have spent paying attention and enjoying it in the past five years. I was so preoccupied with the future that I forgot to focus on the here-and-now.
These aren’t huge resolutions. They all probably lie right along the lines of “survive the year,” and you know what? I’m okay with that. And if you, dear friend, don’t have any huge resolutions either, that’s completely all right. Because sometimes, just surviving the upcoming few months is the biggest achievement there is.
So here’s to 2022. I’m pretty sure a person who has a way with numbers could tell us more about the auspiciousness of this year and other things but given that we also made up the year 0 more or less out of thin air, I don’t know how that works. Maybe we could celebrate happy year 4.6 billion and some change? As that’s the age of Earth? Or maybe we could celebrate happy year 13.8 billion and some change, as that’s the age of our universe.
Either way, happy Solstice, happy New Year, happy travels around the Sun, basically. I’ll see you with another “new” year post in about 584 million miles when the Earth is back from its journey around the Sun.